Weekly Wishes #5

This week felt like a giant failure all around. I didn't accomplish any one of my goals and with every day that I didn't do them, I felt like a giant letdown to myself. Each night, I would tell myself that I'd be better tomorrow. Each morning, I found a reason to put it off. Now, another week is gone by and I'm beating myself up for not doing the things I said I would. This is a fun cycle, no? Oy.

Here's the rundown:
  1. Track macros. Nope. Well, I did it for 2 days and then stopped. I'm not even sure why I stopped. I didn't eat poorly, so it's not that I was feeling bad about what I ate. I just got very resentful about doing it.
  2. Get out of my head. Still there. Still in my head. I meditated more this week and did feel better overall. But my overall anxiety is still in residency and I think it contributed to me getting sick this week. I am anxious about money, work, upcoming trips, wrinkles, you name it and I am probably stressing about it.
  3. Publish three blog posts. Another nope. I had no idea what to write about. I feel like I used to be more interesting. Or that all the things I want to say have been said by people far funnier and more eloquent than I. Oh, did I mention I am still in my head? Because yeah.
    This week, I am setting MUCH smaller goals. Like itsy bitsy teeny tiny ones. And let's see if I can't crush my little ant goals. My wishes for this week are:
    1. Do not spend money on lunch. I spend a lot of money on eating out and the biggest culprit is lunch. And the kicker is that I usually wind up getting a sandwich (THAT I COULD MAKE AT HOME) from the commissary. I am not even going to a nice restaurant. This week, I am  not spending any money on lunch. I am either bringing a lunch, going to a catered meeting or using a Jedi mind trick to get someone to pick up the tab. Let's see, I was home sick yesterday (homemade soup) and had a catered lunch meeting today. So far, so good...
    2. Make an eyebrow appointment.  These babies are look like fat caterpillars and it's time to do something about them. I am going to a new person this time and I am a little scared. I'm very wary about people doing my eyebrows so I have been dreading making the appointment. But this morning I noticed that my eyebrow hairs are almost on my eyelid and I can't have that. Making the appointment STAT.
    3. Publish two blog posts. I am not letting this wish beat me. I have a kid-free weekend this week so I am determined to dust off some draft posts, finish and post them. Anxiety, be damned!
    So that's what my week is focused on. What about you? What are the things you are conquering this week?

    If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

    The Nectar Collective

    Weekly Wishes #4

    So last week was a bit crazy and I wound up skipping Weekly Wishes. It was one of those weeks that while you are in the middle of it,  it feels like there is so much going on but when I look back on it now, I can barely think of one or two things that happened. We had a school talent show (my boy killed it!) and family gatherings and Beyonce dance class - it wound up being a blur.

    I carried over my goals from the previous week and just kept working on those. Here's the rundown:
    1. Workout four days this week. I did this and felt really good. I am not nearly as strong as I was a couple of months ago, but it felt good to get back at it.
    2. Go to bed before midnight five nights this week. DONE! Since my single "GO TO BED!"alarm at 10pm wasn't doing the trick, I added a couple more. At 9pm, I have a reminder to clean up. This gives me time to do the dishes, wash my face, brush my teeth, straighten up the house before my 9:30pm alarm goes off. That alarm is to prod me to meditate and stretch so that I'm sleepy by the time my bedtime alarm goes off and the lights go out. It's kinda ridiculous that I need to do this to myself, but it's working so I'm stopping.
    3. Gratitude Journal.  I didn't do this every night, but I did do it most nights. Definitely keeping that up.
    For the short-term, it's all about self-care. My wishes for this week were:
    1. Track macros. Now that I am back to a more regular exercise routine, it's time to focus on my food. I use MyFitnessPal to track my meals and macros and it's so damn easy. I'm aiming for about 150 grams of protein a day - that's always the hardest one to hit. I can eat carbs all day long!
    2. Get out of my head.  I have been very anxious as of late and I need to quiet my mind. This week I'll be focusing on meditating, reading, and just breathing in and out in order to stop the hamster wheel from spinning in my brain.
    3. Publish three blog posts. Can't call this a blog if I don't actually blog, so this week I am committing to three posts (in addition to this one). 
    So that's what my week is focused on. What about you? What are the things you are conquering this week?

    If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

    The Nectar Collective

    Weekly Wishes #3 - February

    I spent the first part of this week anxious about writing and submitting my Blogcademy submission, then excited and nervous once I clicked PUBLISH, then disappointment and general funkiness when I found out that I was not picked for the LA workshop scholarship.

    But there is only so long you can stay down. I still got shit done this week. Here's the rundown:
    1. File taxes. DONE! Although I realized afterward that Mercury is still in retrograde so maybe I should have waited until after February 11th to file. Here's hoping I don't get audited!
    2. Finalize European Vacation. Not quite done with this one. I did meet up with a friend to pick her brain about Dublin and driving through Ireland. She recommend some cute coastal towns to check out and I've booked hotels all over Ireland. I also did some research on St. Patrick's Day in Dublin and wow! I thought New Yorkers knew how to do St. Patty's right. Seems Dublin is THE place to be on March 17th. I may need to add an extra day in there just to recover.
    3. Submit Blogcademy Scholarship Post.  I posted my submission and was really proud of it. Unfortunately, I wasn't picked for a scholarship. Womp womp. On the bright side (& there always is one) it got me thinking about what I want for this space and I'm excited about what 2015 holds for The Juggle.
    So it's a brand new month AND a brand new week. Let's go big picture and look at this month's goals:
    1. Stay on budget.  I've been using You Need A Budget (or YNAB for short) for the last couple of months and I feel like I'm starting to really get the hang of it. I haven't had a perfect month yet but I'm close. I've got my sights set on February for my first perfect month. 
    2. Finish my book. I'm still plugging away at my LBJ book, but I'm not moving on until I'm finished. I've picked "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler for my second book of 2015 and it's one I am VERY excited about! I'm using that as my carrot to finish book one. 
    3. Complete 2 small house projects. To stay on track with my resolutions, I will need to complete two projects in February. 
    For the short-term, it's all about self-care. My wishes for this week were:
    1. Workout four days this week. After being on a pretty strict workout schedule for the last three months, I have fallen off my workout wagon. This week I am back on it. I am hoping it helps with goal #2.
    2. Go to bed before midnight five nights this week. I have an alarm set on my phone for 10pm to remind me to go to bed. The lights in my living room are programmed to go off at 10:30pm And yet I am still up until after midnight almost every night. Between puttering around the house, reading, watching TV or trolling Pinterest, I just don't get to bed at a normal hour. This week, I am putting myself to bed earlier. 
    3. Gratitude Journal. After I found out I didn't get the Blogcademy scholarship I was in a bit of a funk this past weekend. This week I am focusing on the good in my life and not what I perceive to be missing. Each night before I go to bed, I am writing down five things I am grateful for.
    So that's what my week is focused on. What about you? What are the things you are conquering this week?

    If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

    The Nectar Collective

    It's Time. (Blogcademy Scholarship Submission)

    Serendipity and me.
    Last week I was scrolling through the Discover tab on Instagram when Gala’s photo caught my eye. The caption referenced #theblogcademy and the hair on the top of my head stuck up. “Blogcademy? What’s that?”

    There was a little flutter in my gut as I clicked the Blogcademy link to find out more.

    “THIS. I need this! “ every pore in me seemed to scream in chorus. And when I saw the offer for a scholarship to the workshop I felt it was a sign, and I knew I had to do whatever I could to attend the event. The Universe was clearly throwing me a solid here, and I’ve grown tired of my foul hits and strikeouts. This time I’m hitting it out of the park.

    Original image ©Sam Hood, animator unknown

    My challenge if I choose to accept it.
    I am a single mom who works full time and rarely asks for help (a trait that I'm learning more and more is not as admirable as I once thought and so I’m working on that). I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend this Blogcademy session without the scholarship, but I need to exhaust all options before conceding to defeat, right? No matter how terrifying the options are, like trying to win a scholarship in a competition among other deserving, motivated, talented women.

    I’ve stopped and started this post at least 10 times. But I vowed this year to stop wasting my time and to use my voice. But first I need to find my voice. I know that there is a compelling story inside me, and I know part of my journey here on earth is to share it. Coupled with the complexities and nuances of digital media it’s clear I need some guidance to get me started on the right path.

    And that’s where Blogcademy comes in. I want to learn from the very best and that's you, ladies!

    Image ©Erin Kohlenberg, CC

    The Neverending Story – Liz Edition.
    I have loved writing for as long as I can remember. I have been chronicling my life since I was 12 years old and I have scores of embarrassing, angst-ridden,unicorn-covered journals as testament. When I got pregnant in 2006, I started blogging to keep long-distance relatives in the loop. I loved it and felt at home in a way I hadn't before. But I kept it private, afraid to share it with anyone outside my immediate circle.

    In the years since my separation and subsequent divorce, I have blogged in this space in bursts. Gung-ho enthusiasm soon falls prey to anxiety and self-doubt. Fear holds me back from blogging regularly and I feel like I need to have a plan in place—a brand, a voice—in order to proceed properly. On occasion, I let myself dream about what it would be like to write professionally or hell, blog regularly to a loyal readership. But it has all seemed too scary. Who am I to dream a dream so wild?

    And so, I have sat back, admiring and envying other writers who embrace themselves—faults and all— and make a name and space for themselves in the blogosphere. It was only recently that I realized that your voice, your brand, your blog, your life is a work in progress. It’s always evolving because we’re always evolving. I’m always evolving. (Note to self: remember that the next time you are "should"-ing all over yourself.)

    Harborne Happy Brick_stephen_boisvert.jpg
                   Image ©stephen boisvert, CC

    Wise women, the brick, and asking.
    A wise woman (Oprah*) once said, “The Universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers.  And if you don't pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder. I say it's like getting thumped upside the head. If you don't pay attention to that, it's like getting a brick upside your head. “

    When I saw Gala’s post, it felt like the thump upside the head. Learning about the scholarship was my brick.  But it wasn’t the last brick, because it seemed in the days that followed every sign pointed to Blogcademy.

    In addition to the endless Instagram posts and songs on the radio that seemed to be egging me on, I (thanks to the rabbit hole of the internet) came across Heather Jabornik and her post, “3 Ways to Treat Your Dream Like the Wild Adventure It Is.This post seemed to speak directly to me. And when I discovered that she was a Blogcademy alum I said, “ Ok, Universe! I. GET. IT.”

    I knew if I didn’t apply, I would regret it. Big time.


    I’m always telling my eight-year-old son that he needs to speak up for what he wants, and if he doesn’t ask for what he wants the answer will ALWAYS be no. But if he simply asks, there is a chance of getting a YES.

    It’s a funny thing, parenting. So often the lessons we teach our children are the very ones we need to learn. And so I am practicing what I teach and asking for what I want.

    My name is Liz Heron and I want to come to LA Blogcademy next month.  I want to win this scholarship to help make that happen.

    Here's to seeing you lovely ladies next month!

    * You should note that when I say “a wise woman” 8 out of 10 times I am referring to Oprah. The other times it’s a mix of Beyonce, Linda Belcher, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

    Weekly Wishes #2

    Alriiight! Week two of Weekly Wishes - we're on a roll people! I love the above quote because it reminds me that no one gets anywhere in a single bound. It's the little steps that can lead to the biggest change. So let's start stepping!

    Here's how I did on my wishes for last week:
    1. Pick (& start) January's book. DONE! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I picked "Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson" as my first 2015 read. I'm a political nerd and have had this book for a couple of years but never got around to reading it. After seeing SELMA last weekend, I really wanted to know more about the civil rights movement and LBJ. It is a VERY big book (1040 pages!) so the book I pick for February may be a short story or a children's book.
    2. Meditate three times.  Fail. I meditated once and even though it felt great (it ALWAYS does), I didn't make time for it this week. But this is an ongoing goal and so there's always this week.
    3. Stretch.  The week started out strong on this goal but I slacked off towards the end of this week. And boy, am I feeling it. After my Beyonce dance class on Saturday (more on that later this week), I should have stretched a lot more. I woke up in a sore knot on Sunday. So this one is ongoing as well.
    My wishes for this week were:
    1. File Taxes. I'e gotten all the paperwork together. Now all I have to do is file. Yeah, that's easy, right? Man, I miss the days of the 1040EZ, but I am hoping the headache will be worth it as long as I don't owe anything. And my fingers are crossed for a refund. 
    2. Finalize European Vacation.  I'm heading to Europe this spring and this is the week to finalize all the details. I've got most of the important stuff out of the way - flights, car rental (yes, there will be driving happening. Whether I attempt to drive on the opposite side of the road remains to be seen.). I've got most of the hotels booked and right now it's just a matter of finalizing the itinerary of sights to see. I'm traveling with someone who is FAR more laid back than I, so I am trying not to get all "Type A Monica Geller", but I know who I am. And I am "Type A Monica Geller" so details need to be locked down this week before panic attacks begin..
    3. Submit Blogcademy Scholarship Post.  Ah...speaking of panic attacks! I have decided to throw my hat in the ring for the scholarship to The Blogcademy's LA workshop next month. The deadline is Wednesday, so my next post with be my submission post. I am scared as hell, but I am also crazy excited about the idea of getting to study with Gala Darling, Shauna Haider and Kat Williams. And that excitement is outweighing all the nervous sweats. And I've got A LOT of nervous sweat happening over this.
    So that's what my week is focused on. What about you? What are the things you are conquering this week?

    If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

    The Nectar Collective

    Weekly Wishes #1

    For the last couple of weeks, I've been using my Sunday nights to prep for the week ahead and it's made such a difference in how my mornings go. I am no longer rushing around trying to make lunches or find clothes and I just feel so much more calm and focused the rest of the day.

    Since it's been working so well at theme, I thought I would start doing the same here. I have been a fan of The Nectar Collective's Weekly Wishes - it's a personal goal setting community where you can share your upcoming dreams for the week and hold yourself accountable - and this week I've started joining in the fun.

    My wishes for this week are:
    1. Pick (& start) January's book. One of my 2015 goals is to read 12 books this year. Time to pick the first one! Any suggestions?
    2. Meditate three times.  Although my larger goal is to meditate daily, I'm easing into this one.
    3. Stretch. In dance class this week, I looked around and was the only person who couldn't touch my toes in a straddle. So this week, I'm aiming to stretch nightly. Wait, if I take deep breaths during my stretching, does that count as meditating? Hmmm.....
    If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

    The Nectar Collective

    New Years Resolutions 2015 (The Beyonce Edition)

    There's something so clean about the beginning of a new year. I love it! I feel like I can do anything. This year in particular feels different. Do you feel it? It seems palpable to me. There's a change in the air and there's nothing we can't do. We are a force to be reckoned with. It's like we're all Beyonce.

    I jokingly referred to Beyonce as my spirit animal a lot last year, but it's only recently that I have started to think about what that means. I admire Beyonce because she is so much herself. She has lots of influences but she is so uniquely herself. I've spent a lot of my life worrying about what other people thought about me or trying to be a version of myself that I thought I should be. And I'm tired of that. It hasn't served me and it's time for a change. So this year, I'm taking a page from Beyonce's playbook and vowing to channel my inner Beyonce in all things and be and do me, just as I am.

    So in honor of Queen B, I present my resolutions for 2015...

    Find the perfect red lipstick. Let's start small. After all, not all resolutions have to be deep. This one is ridiculously shallow on the surface but it's about feeling good and finding what works for you and owning that shit. I've always wanted to rock red lipstick but I've never found the right shade. I always feel like I look more Joker than Gwen Stefani. When it's done right, it looks glamorous and confident and I want to wear red lipstick, dammit! And this is the year! Be prepared, this probably means a post with lots of pictures of me wearing lots of red lipstick.

    Meditate. I dabbled in meditation last year and every time I did it (every. single. time.) I felt so good, even hours later. This year, I want to make it a daily practice. I may not be able to sit quietly for 20 minutes and I may not do it wearing a crown, but then again, I very well may.

    Budget.  As Bey said "Divas getting money"and it's time for this diva to get serious about making my money work for meI have a couple of debts I'd like to pay off and a savings account that I'd like to grow. I won't get there without budgeting and this is the year. I know I won't be perfect every month and I know it will take me a few months to get the hang of it. But I'm determined to break the cycle. I have been meeting with a money mentor and am using YNAB to budget and track spending.

    Use my voice. While I cannot sing like Beyonce (outside my car and shower anyway), I have a voice and it's time I use it. Whether that's writing here or in my journal, or starting my own podcast, or expressing my opinion more at work, or being honest about my feelings in relationships, this year is all about speaking up and out. But I have stories to tell and things to say and it's time. This scares the hell out of me, by the way. Which means I'm on the right track.

    Make my house a home. I can only imagine how amazing Beyonce and Jay-Z's house is since they clearly had a Warhol in the foyer at some point. I've been in this house for over 3 years and the only painting project I have tackled is taping paint swatches around the house. It's time to make this home rise up to greet me, as Oprah says. That means tackling the list of house projects I've been  Tackle house projects. One a month is the goal. It doesn't have to be as large as painting a room, but I have to complete a house-related project each month.

    Read twelve books. I love reading but I seem to do most of it on my phone. I miss the weight and smell of a book. I feel like I consume bits of information or stories, but it's been a while since I focused on a full book. My plan is to read a book a month.

    Guard my time. I have the same amount of hours in a day that Beyonce has and it's time to stop wasting them. Last year, I wasted a lot of my time on people and things that didn't serve me and didn't deserve space in my life. So this year, I am making time for the right people and cutting back on things like mindless television watching. Let's be clear, binge-watching House of Cards is OBVIOUSLY not mindless, but channel-surfing and background noise are. I've already started setting up regular dates with the people that fill my cup & doing my best to ignore calls and texts from those that suck from my cup.  Err...you know what I mean.

    Dance. I have never viewed myself as rhythmic or coordinated but I love dancing and I don't do nearly enough of it. So this year, I'm vowing to dance more. I recently started taking pole dance classes and I recently signed up for a "Dance Like Beyonce" class (yup, that's a thing!) and we'll be learning to dance this entire routine for "End Of Time". Wish me luck.

    Travel. OK, so I can't jet off to the Amalfi Coast (yet) but I am going to travel more in 2015. I already have a few trips planned with the possibility of more on the horizon. That reminds me, I need to renew my passport.

    So, here is to an amazing 2015!